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5 Fun Facts About August 8 In West Virginia History

---Learn Every Day: WV Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history wv To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1921, one of the worst floods in United States history devastated the state of West Virginia, causing over 500 deaths and leaving thousands homeless. August 8 was one of the days in which the rainfall was most severe, with some areas receiving over a foot of rain in just 24 hours.

2. On August 8, 1932, the West Virginia Department of Public Safety was created. This agency is responsible for coordinating emergency services and law enforcement across the state.

3. On August 8, 1957, the first successful heart surgery in West Virginia was performed by Dr. Earl Stucky at the Charleston Area Medical Center. The patient, a 29-year-old woman, went on to live for several more years after the procedure.

4. In 1974, a violent thunderstorm swept through the town of Grafton, causing multiple fatalities and extensive damage. On August 8 of that year, the town held a memorial service to honor the victims.

5. August 8, 1986 saw the dedication of the New River Gorge Bridge, which spans more than 3,000 feet and is one of the longest steel arch bridges in the world. The bridge has become a popular tourist attraction and hosts an annual bridge day festival, during which people can base jump and rappel from the structure.
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